Delta Air Lines announced they will install seatbelts on their airport vehicles as part of a settlement agreement with the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). A bag handler died in a workplace accident in August 2010 on one of these vehicles, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. The worker was ejected from the vehicle, which had no seat belt, and died on the scene.
OSHA investigated the accident and inspected the scene. It determined that Delta was in violation of safety regulations, notably failing to provide workers with personal protective equipment (PPE) (in this case, a safety belt). Delta sent a memo to employees following the accident, warning the employees that many of the carts do not have safety belts. Delta averages approximately 14 ejections from these carts annually, half of which result in “serious employee injury.”
“OSHA’s corporate-wide settlement agreements are highly effective tools for ensuring that companies address hazards that can injure or kill their workers,” said Dr. David Michaels, OSHA’s Assistant Secretary of Labor. “This kind of widespread change within corporations can go a long way toward keeping workers across the country safe and healthy at the end of every workday.”
If Delta was aware that ejections from these carts were causing worker injury, why did they wait for OSHA to step in before installing seatbelts on them?
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